Evan Treacy/INPHO Chadwicks Wexford Park is set to welcome a big crowd on Saturday.
Stadium of Light
Wexford GAA hope floodlights can attract bumper neutral games and Ed Sheeran concert
Over 12,000 tickets have already been sold to the first game under lights at Chadwicks Wexford Park this weekend.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 16th 2023, 2:05 PM

WEXFORD GAA ARE hoping that the addition of floodlights at Chadwicks Wexford Park will bring the stadium to the next level.

The venue’s first event under lights will take place this Saturday, as Kilkenny visit in the Walsh Cup. Over 12,000 tickets have already been sold for the game.

After the Nore-siders agreed to alter the annual rota so the Model County could have a home game, Wexford GAA marketed the fixture heavily, and successfully, and it is set for a sell-out this weekend.

But high-profile home games are just the start of the new journey for the stadium.

“Long-term you’d love a game like Ballyhale vs Ballygunner, for example, [which] we would have been an ideal venue under lights for a game like that,” Wexford GAA chair Micheál Martin told The42.

“But down the line, we’d love to be hosting All-Ireland club semi-finals or significant games, which are geographically suited. Obviously we know we’re down the south-east, so sometimes geography will go against you. So that’s the first thing. Our primary aim is hosting games.

“But we have had discussions with several music promoters actually. And I think Ed Sheeran is on the record as saying he wants to play in Wexford. So we’ve certainly interacted behind the scenes to let him know we have a suitable venue that may be able to host that in the future.

“Hosting games is number one, but absolutely, we want it to be a venue that will be of benefit to the whole county. If that means bringing business and entertainment to the county, we’d love that too.”

Ultimately, the decision to install floodlights was one of necessity.

“With the split season in now, it’s increasingly important to have floodlit venues,” Martin noted.

“The inter-county season now, the bulk of the games are played in the winter/spring months. An awful lot of games are played in January, February, March. So that’s one aspect.

“The secondary aspect then is your county finals are now played towards the end of October. I would love to see our county football final, because we have our hurling-football club split season, I would love to see our county football final played under lights. And even a couple of games in our Hurling Championship funny enough in August, we had an extra-time game where, if we had lights back then, we would have been turning them on.

“It just gives increased scope to have a better spread of fixtures. And that’s obviously important. But also, you see by the crowd we’re expecting on Saturday night, it’s going to bring a massive buzz to the town.

“We play Galway in a few weeks, I think I’m right in saying that all the hotel rooms are already sold out for that weekend. So that gives just something new to the town and local business.”

conor-delaney-and-conor-mcdonald Ryan Byrne / INPHO Wexford will entertain Kilkenny. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The Model County are preparing several activities around Saturday’s game against Kilkenny, which throws in at 6pm.

Wexford CBS will face Good Counsel (New Ross) in the final of the Wexford First Year Schools Hurling Competition at 4pm, while there will also be a fireworks display and lights show ahead of the senior encounter.

It will be the third run-out of the year for both Darragh Egan and Derek Lyng’s teams in the pre-season competition.

The Cats have won two from two, and would seal a final berth with a victory on Saturday.

The Yellowbellies recovered from their opening defeat to Laois, by beating Offaly in Birr on Sunday.

Galway are already into the final, after wins over Westmeath and Dublin.


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